NFC East Noise: Eagles QB questions

NFC East Noise: Eagles QB questions
May 29, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Michael Vick. Nick Foles. Matt Barkley. One of these three will start at quarterback for the Eagles and new head coach Chip Kelly. 

Reports out of Eagles OTAs show that Vick has the early lead to start, but Kelly is not ready to commit to one player as starter with the first regular season game almost 100 days away.

Vick holds the incumbent role as starter, but that came under a different regime. Former Eagles coach Andy Reid is now calling the shots in Kansas City. Plus with Vick's injury history, Foles has started multiple games for the Eagles.

Kelly has said Barkley is picking up the offense well, and the coach called the rookie out of USC a "student of the game."

Asked if Foles might emerge as the No. 1 QB, Kelly simply said the team planned to take the full amount of time to make that decision. 

As head coach at Oregon, Kelly often waited until the week before the first game to name his starting quarterback. With a 46-7 record in four seasons at the helm of the Ducks, Kelly's methods seem to make sense.

Running an up-tempo, spread offense that relies often on a quarterback's speed and arm strentgh, Vick could be an ideal fit for Kelly.

In 10 games last season, Vick accounted for 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions through the air, and 332 yards and one touchdown on the ground; hardly gaudy statistics. At one point Vick was easily the most explosive quarterback in the NFL, but at age 32, and a decade of NFL hits under his belt, Vick may not be as quick as he once was.

The rest of the NFC East teams have fixtures at quarterback. In New York, two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning has no threat for his job, while in Dallas, Tony Romo has not experienced much playoff success, but he was just rewarded with a six-year, $108 million contract. Romo and Manning have no real competition for their positions.

In Washington, there is a clear-cut starter in Robert Griffin III, though the second-year star is working his way back from a serious knee injury. Indications show RGIII should be ready for the opening game against the Eagles, but that is not a certainty. If Griffin can't start, second-year QB Kirk Cousins will get the start for the 'Skins. 

Back to the Eagles. Vick still thinks he is the man, evidenced by a claim last week that he could outrun RG3 in a 40-yard-dash. In 2001, reports show that Vick ran a 4.33 40. A decade later, Griffin ran a 4.41 in 2012.

Vick did show his speed in early May, when after being goaded for weeks by running back LeSean McCoy, Vick agreed to a 40-yard race. Word is Vick beat McCoy by five yards, and it was never close.

Kelly's offense loves speed, and Vick still has lots of it. But speed has never been the issue for Vick, or for the Eagles really. Beyond McCoy and Vick, the Eagles also have speedster DeSean Jackson at wide receiver.

Vick, Foles, Barkley: One of these guys will start Week 1 for the Eagles at FedEx Field. Kelly might not reveal who that is until close to game time, but the smart money would be on Vick.